December 31, 2004

End o’ the year and the password is “chastened”. I feel chastened. Nothing more self-flaggelating than reading the sermons of John Henry Newman. They say the past is a foreign country and I never so believed it as I read his words decrying those who read novels, even good ones that teach the virtues. He argues that reading’s purpose is to excite emotions and feelings with no outlet, no opportunity for action. We separate feelings from action resulting in us failing to act when it we need to, and encouraging sloth. He also said that we read of the heroic acts and deeds but never of the small tiny, boring, irritating tasks we need to do on a daily basis which causes us to devalue the latter. Ouch.

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